Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Day at CraftBoston

My sister and I spent the day at CraftBoston yesterday. We took the DownEaster train down from Portland, which I highly recommend: it was only $40 for a round trip ticket, and it saves the trouble of parking in Boston, not to mention the gas money.

It was sort of a research expedition, though I did make a purchase while I was there. I wanted to remember how a professional show looks and feels, as well as get some ideas for the booth that I am mentally building, as preface to physically building it. I did learn a few things, and was reminded of others. In no particular order:

  • Lighting is key. I knew this, but was strongly reminded: insufficient lighting can cause a booth to just disappear.
  • I really, really need to raise my prices, on the big things, at least; although even my mugs would be at the rock-bottom end of the range at this show.
  • I won't be using black walls or curtains. This is, I'm sure, subjective, but the booths I felt drawn to used lighter colors.
  • While all the booths looked nice and professional, they weren't as utterly fabulous as I was remembering. This is good news because I now feel confident that I can build something which won't be insufficiently fabby; maybe even something that stands out as fabbier than average.
  • There should be something - more than one thing - near the front of the booth which is very affordable. Wandering around among the $1200 garments and $12000 furniture can make one start to regard the show as more of a museum, because buying something is completely out of the question. It was pretty exciting when I came across items that I could afford: a wooden spoon here, a pot holder there. I almost bought the wooden spoon just because I could, and I did buy three of the hot pads.
  • Attending this show actually made me less enthusiastic about doing this show: observing and reading between the lines I got the sense that sales were disappointing. I hope I'm wrong, but that was the feeling I got. Several people told me they'd "made a lot of good contacts" - the "great personality" of art fair descriptors.
  • I was surprised to see some knuckle-busters. Apparently not everyone has made the jump to Square. There was wireless service in the building, too, so Paypal was an option.
  • The Buffalo wings at The Whiskey Priest are the best!
The show is still open until 4 pm today.

1 comment:

- Cindy - said...

"Attending this show actually made me less enthusiastic about doing this show: observing and reading between the lines I got the sense that sales were disappointing."

Lori- I've got the same vibe when I've attended Craft Boston... makes me wonder...

I'm living right outside of Boston right now (Medford, on the orange line) if you do find yourself wanting to try this or another Bahston venue and need a place to crash.

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